Purim in my house was so much fun that I clean forgot to take pictures of the food. But here’s my menu:
Stuffed vine leaves (hand-made, but store-bought)
Tomatoes, slow-roasted with crushed fresh garlic, thyme, coarse salt and olive oil
Fillet of salmon covered with a layer of fresh green za’atar pesto and baked
Two kinds of ravioli: spinach and sweet potato (hand-made but store-bought)
Two kinds of dressing for the pasta: a winey marinara sauce and a mushroomy Alfredo sauce
Kashkeval cheese, finely grated
Big tossed salad with vinaigrette
and lots and lots of wine – some made by me and some commercial.
I decided to make an easy menu in order to enjoy my family and friends rather than speeding back and forth from the kitchen half the time. The big Purim meal is always informal in my house, just warm, home-made bread, lots of popular, uncomplicated dishes, and plenty of wine.
My little grandsons, dressed as Spiderman and Superman, leapt off furniture to prove how much like their heroes they are. Eventually they plotzed down in front of “101 Dalmations,” sometimes wandering back to the table to nosh on this or that. The adults ate and drank and reminisced and argued politics and told awful jokes and got a little tiddly. It was great, except that my hamentaschen weren’t a success. They came out ‘way too doughy and kind of tough. Sigh… Never mind, there were plenty of other sweet things for those who had room after the salmon and ravioli – goodies from Purim baskets friends sent.
Earlier in the day I took photos of Purim on the street. Here is Purim in the Post Office:
Ready-made Purim baskets displayed on the sidewalk..
I popped into a store to get something ridiculous to wear during the party (a big red feathery boa). The salesgirl was totally into the Purim spirit already.
Although some of the costumes and accessories obviously had been borrowed from a different culture…
More ready-made Purim baskets. Maybe you can spot a hint that shop-owners start thinking about Passover as soon as Purim gets underway.
Racks of costumes for kids…
Something a little more adult, here.
And here is one of the founders of Petach Tikvah, Yoel Moshe Salomon. I’m fond of this winged statue, and thought he deserved a little extra attention on Purim day.
A folk song says that Salomon and four others wanted to buy property here, to create the first agricultural settlement of modern Israel. The doctor among them said that the area was unhealthy, as proved by the absence of birds; he refused to stay. But Salomon stayed the night and by dawn when the songs of innumerable birds woke him, he’d grown wings himself. Translated lyrics below.
The Ballad of Yoel Moshe Salomon
In eighteen seventy eight, ’tis said,
One bright and sunny day
Five horsemen out of Jaffa rode
And set out on their way.
And Stemper came and Guttman came
And Zerach Barnet
And Yoel Moshe Salomon,
A sword stuck in his belt.
And silver-headed Mazouriki,
The doctor, came along.
Along the Yarkon in the reeds
They heard the wind’s soft song.
Beside Um-Labes they did halt
Among the swamps and trees
And climbed a little hill nearby
To see what they could see.
And as they stood and gazed around
Upon that little hill,
Mazouriki said: I fear the worst,
This place is calm and still.
For if no birds here ever sing
Then death and sickness reign.
So let us flee it while we can
And never come again.
He turned to leave in haste and fear
And three of them agreed
That it was time to ride away
To Jaffa at full speed.
But Yoel Salomon refused,
A light shone in his eyes.
No, I am staying here tonight
Until the sun shall rise.
And so he stayed there on that hill
And in the night, it’s said,
That Yoel Moshe Salomon
Grew wings just like a bird.
And where he went I cannot say
And if he really flew,
Perhaps its just a fairy-tale
Perhaps that story’s true.
And when the dawn broke in the morn
Above the hills so high
The barren valley echoed loud
With birdsong in the sky.
And to this day, so people say,
Along the River Yarkon
The birds sing songs of praise
to Yoel Moshe Salomon.
Here’s a YouTube video based on this legend, with the song in Hebrew as sung by Shalom Hanoch.